Sticky Pecan Pie

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Step 1.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/354°F.

Step 2.

First, dice your butter into small chunks and pop it in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

Step 3.

Sift your flour into a large mixing bowl, zest in half the orange and add the sugar with a pinch of salt. Tip your very cold butter into the flour and rub it together with your fingers until you have a mixture that resembles coarse yellow breadcrumbs. Don’t worry if there are a few flecks of butter left, a few chunks will just create nice flaky pockets in your pastry.

Step 4.

Create a well in the centre and add in the egg yolks and cold water. Give it all a good mix until it just comes together as a dough. Press it together to form a disk and wrap in cling film to chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Step 5.

Whilst your dough is chilling, start on the filling. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add in the sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a gentle bubble and cook for 5 minutes until slightly thickened and emulsified. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract, then leave to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in the eggs until emulsified.

Step 6.

Roll out your pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 2mm. Gently roll it around your rolling pin and slide your pie case underneath - we used a 23 cm tart tin but any regular pie dish would work. Lower your pastry into the case, then fold it into the corners to line it trimming off the excess around the edge. Push in the edges with a bit of extra pastry to create a tight lining.

Step 7.

Gently prick the pastry with a fork - this stops the pastry from rising to create a crispy bottom. Scrunch up a piece of parchment paper, open it up and line the tart tin. Fill it with baking beans, or rice or lentils if you don’t have any.

Step 8.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the baking beans and parchment and bake for another 5 minutes until the base is lightly golden. Allow the pastry shell to cool slightly.

Step 9.

Turn the oven down to 140°C/280°F.

Step 10.

Roughly chop 200g of your pecans. Give your sugar mixture another good whisk. Add your chopped pecans onto the now slightly cooled pie case. Pour over the sugar mixture and top with whole pecans to decorate.

Step 11.

Bake for 35-40 minutes - it should have a golden top and a slight wobble when you shake it. Leave to cool completely and set.

Step 12.

Remove your pecan pie from its shell and cut it into slices. Drizzle of double cream and enjoy.

We flavoured our pie with orange and cinnamon, but feel free to shake up the flavourings with what you have in the house - almond extract would be beautiful too.

The Pastry
140g Butter
250g Plain Flour
30g Caster Sugar
1/2 Orange
2 Egg Yolks
3 Tbsp Very Cold Water
The Filling
300g Pecans
110g Butter
150g Light Brown Sugar
150g Maple Syrup
4 Eggs
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
300ml Double Cream, To Serve (optional)
Salt